Co-founder of @Sea_Legacy and contributing photographer to National Geographic. Follow the link below to Join The Tide
Wild salmon are the lifeblood of British Columbia’s coastal ecosystem. They travel great distances to return to spawning grounds in a fascinating and beautiful natural process. It is also a terribly exhausting struggle. During these salmon runs, wild salmon must navigate past open-net Atlantic salmon fish farms that are notorious for spreading both disease and filth into the waters around them. From sea lice to piscine reovirus to algae blooms, these highly-concentrated open-net pens create lethal obstacles for wild salmon, all in the name of profit.
Happy Father's Day! I felt incredibly fortunate that on a @Sea_Legacy expedition last year in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve, this huge male we nicknamed Scarface, a reference to the large scar across his nose, allowed us to witness his fishing efficiency. Despite his massive frame, he was the most gentle and calm bear on the salmon feeding grounds. At 10 yards away I could hear his breathing, see the detail in his fur, hear the crunching of salmon and peacefully look into his eyes. #FollowMe and @Sea_Legacy to stay up to date on our exciting expedition happening this week in the spectacular Katimai National Park and Preserve. #respect#bear#gratitude#misunderstood#bethechange#mpa#fathersday#instagood#photooftheday#father#expedition#alaska#bw
The diversity in the Gardens of the Queens is likely the most important factor behind its resilience. Teeming with three times more life than surrounding waters, a reef like this is much more capable of surviving rising temperatures than a system that has been weaken by overfishing, pollution and tourism. Yet, the abundance of life in this near-perfect marine reserve cannot protect it from the toxic effects of plastic pollution. Click the link in my bio to watch Cuba: Gardens of the Queen episode 7 on plastic.
On June 20, tenures for 20 open-net Atlantic salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia, are set to expire. Premier John Horgan, @johnhorgan4bc, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, @justinpjtrudeau, have the opportunity to make real change happen by not renewing these tenures. We too have the ability to make real change happen. The choices you make, every day, are an important part of that change. One of the easiest ways to help create healthy and abundant oceans is by being an informed and conscious consumer. #KnowYourSalmon is our challenge to you, ocean lovers, to learn the difference between wild salmon and open-net farmed Atlantic salmon. Check the link in my bio to learn more. Together, we are #TurningTheTide.
This pint-sized schooling fish is one that most people have only seen inside a can, but it is so much more. Sardines plays a mammoth role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems as an essential food source for other fish, marine mammals, and seabirds. Their beauty and importance shine underwater in the mangrove forests of Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen. Diving with massive schools of sardines that sparkle and pulse with the light, emulating a synchronized heartbeat, gave us a sense of hope and pride for the future of our oceans if we just let them recover naturally. Visit the link in my bio to watch Cuba: Gardens of the Queen Episode 6 on these little, lively and vital fish.
If you think having open-net Atlantic salmon farms along British Columbia’s coast is a good idea, it’s time for you to reevaluate. Resident orcas, perhaps the most studied, celebrated and beloved orca population, are top predators and cultural icons of British Columbia. Their population is closely tied to the overall health of the ecosystem, one we are putting at a terrible risk for a few to get rich. Only 76 resident orcas remain and they need your support in protecting their food supply - wild salmon. Add your voice and support through the link in my bio. Let’s put the environment first and #GetFishFarmsOut.
I am always humbled by the power and grace of polar bears in nature. When I hear and see the devastating effects of climate change, my heart breaks and I push myself even harder to make a difference. Every second breath we take comes from the ocean. We can either learn to hold our breath or perhaps it is better to protect the lungs and heart of our planet. A wide array of both proven and promising solutions already exist. Reforesting the oceans and restarting natural nutrient cycles can drawdown carbon, deacidify and cool surface waters, at the same time as producing sustainable food and biofuel.
The bold conservation efforts in the Gardens of the Queen mean that many different species of fish grow to great sizes and maintain healthy numbers. One of such species is the goliath grouper, which can grow to be 800 pounds. As indicators of a healthy reef system, these gentle giants have become increasingly rare in most of the Caribbean. Check the link in my bio to see how one of these prehistoric fish surprised me in Episode Four of Cuba: Gardens of the Queen
In a world where sharks are often demonized and misunderstood, here in the Gardens of the Queen, they are evidence that the natural marine environment is operating as it should. Strictly protected since 1996, the Gardens of the Queen show us what's possible when we commit to creating healthy and abundant oceans. Click the link in my bio to watch Cuba: Gardens of the Queen Episode Three on these incredible creatures. #TurningTheTide with @Sea_Legacy, @CristinaMittermeier, @andy_mann, and @iankellett_story